By 1690, Japan is a nation completely isolated from the outside world, except for a small community of Dutch traders. Among them is German Doctor Englebert Kaempfer, whose writings provide ... See full summary »
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Michael Auslin ...
Himself - Nikko Toshogu Shrine
Beatrice M. Bodart-Bailey ...
Herself - Otsuma Women's University
...
Narrator
Michael Cooper ...
Himself - Former editor, 'Monumenta Nipponica'
Ryonosuke Etoh
Mariko Fujiwara
Daisuke Igakura
Eiko Ikegami ...
Herself - Otsuma Women's University
James Kent
Isao Machii
Alexei Podtheko
Luke S. Roberts ...
Himself - UC Santa Barbara
Toshihiro Satô
Cecilia Segawa Seigle ...
Herself - University of Pennsylvania
Makoto Takeushi ...
Himself - Edo Tokyo Museum
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Storyline

By 1690, Japan is a nation completely isolated from the outside world, except for a small community of Dutch traders. Among them is German Doctor Englebert Kaempfer, whose writings provide valuable insights on daily life in Japan. Culture and commerce flourish. But ruling daimyo warlords and their samurai armies continue to grow restless. The Shogun Tsunayoshi is a product of both classes. Under his rule, art and education excel, and "Laws of Compassion" are introduced. Samurai, geisha, courtesans, merchants, writers and actors are attracted to Edo, and the classes begin to mix. Japanese interest in Western science increases, making the policy of isolation more difficult. In 1853, Mathew C. Perry sails American ships into Edo Bay, and demands a formal opening of the nation. Realizing that resistance is futile, the Japanese negotiate treaties with the U.S. and other nations in the West. Ten years later, the samurai class is disbanded and the Tokugawa Shogunate ends. After 265 years of ... Written by Anonymous

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9 June 2004 (USA)  »

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The final episode in a fine PBS mini-series on the Tokugawa period in Japan.
3 August 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is the final episode of the three-part series on the Tokugawa period in Japan (roughly the late 16th century until just after the US Civil War). Because Japan experienced lots of stability and even, in some ways, stagnation during the time following the first several Tokugawa Shoguns, this episode is a bit duller than the previous two--especially the first two-thirds. In this portion, you learn about the somewhat pointless lives of the samurai (mostly partying and chasing women since they had no wars to fight), the increase in prestige of the business class, and the Yoshiwara district. Later in episode three, you learn how the west (particularly the Americans) forced themselves upon the Japanese--thus opening up Japanese society to outsiders and spelling the doom to the Tokugawa shogunate. Well worth seeing--and narrated by the star of the American TV mini-series, "Shogun"--Richard Chamberlain. Well worth seeing.


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